Jazz performer will play his music

Queens jazz musician Rob Duguay will be joined by his Songevity Quartet for an upcoming Manhattan performance where some of his original compositions will be performed.

Originally born in Toronto, Duguay grew up on Connecticut. Duguay first grew interested in music because of his “musical mother,” who had Duguay and his siblings take piano lessons. He said he studies classical piano for years before switching to the bass when he had a chance to join the high school jazz ensemble.

“The first time I heard it [jazz], I basically wanted to be a part of it,” Duguay said.

It was the rhythms of jazz music that excited him and caught his interested.

Being passionate about his music is what made Duguay decided he wanted to do it professionally. He said he started playing gigs in Vermont and Connecticut with different people and began having a good time. Now, he has performed not only through the United States, but also around the world, including in France, Switzerland, South Africa and Canada.

In addition to playing music, Duguay also writes music. He first started in 2003 while studying for an undergraduate degree.

“It was mainly because I had some ideas in mind and I was encouraged by a guitarist friend of mine to contribute to the band basically,” he said.

Although Duguay previously lived in New Orleans, he moved to Ridgewood about five years ago after Hurricane Katrina hit.

“It was beautiful just living there and being close to the culture of New Orleans and the whole kind of melting pot vibe they have down there,” he said.

But, New York is where all the major innovations are coming out of, Duguay said. He noted that other places are listening to New York to see what the next direction in music will be.

“New York is clearly the best place in the world for jazz,” Duguay said. “The caliber of musicians and style of music is very modern, very cutting edge.”

Duguay’s Songevity Quartet has been together for about two years. The other members of the group are tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger, pianist Justin Kauflin and drummer Nadav Snir-Zelniker.

The quartet will perform at The Kitano, located at 66 Park Avenue in Manhattan, from 8 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. They will perform some of Duguay’s original compositions, in addition to jazz legend tributes, and will be joined by two special guests.

Looking to the future, Duguay said that he wants to be part of the promulgation of jazz music through education or performance.

“I really want to do a world tour and I really want to spread my compositions and my music and share it with others,” he said, adding that it could mean touring, recording, or opening up a jazz center or club.

For more information on Duguay, including upcoming performances, visit www.robduguay.com.